My 6 week backpacking Europe trip was too short, but in a way I’m glad to be back home. Over the last few weeks I’ve been uploading and editing the photos from my trip. I’ve got the rest of the photos up (check the top right hand corner under the “My Travels” tab). I’ll first share with you some quick highlights (and maybe low lights) of my recent trip to Paris.
Paris, France: Way overrated. I came into the city with such high expectations but I was slightly disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful city with a rich history and AMAZING food (like crepes and croissants), but…I kept reading about how Paris is filled with LOVE and WARMTH and almost every blog I read about the city were about people falling in love with Paris. I think if I had ZERO expectations I would have enjoyed the city a bit more. And if only my French were a bit better perhaps I’d get more smiles from the locals. Would I go back again? Probably. I almost feel compelled to go back again because of all the hype. I almost feel like I need to give Paris another chance. Besides, I forgot to get a shot glass from Paris so I do need to go back! Ha! But on a serious note, if I do come back I would most likely spend some time outside of Paris to check out the country side – the wineries.
I would recommend…
- Purchasing the Museum Pass ONLY if you are artsy and LOVE spending all day everyday at museums (We were in Paris for one week and we got the 4 day pass and it worked out great).
- If you are NOT a huge museum artsy fan (if you JUST want to go to Le Louvre and maybe one other place) or if you don’t have a lot of time in Paris, I would advise NOT getting the Museum Pass because it wouldn’t really be worth it. If you’re worried about long line ups at Le Louvre, there is actually a second (somewhat hidden) entrance through the Carrousel du Louvre shopping centre.
- Pay to go up the tower of Notre Dame Cathedral for amazing views of the city and to be able to see the Gargoyles up close (this is included with the Museum Pass)
- BUT (this is a very big but), the Museum Pass does not let you cut to the front of the line for EVERY museum. Even though the admission price to Notre Dame Cathedral tower is included, you still have to wait in line. The line up for this was actually pretty long when we were there (maybe 20-30 min wait?). We only realized this when we got there.
- Purchase the book of 10 metro tickets at the ticket machines. It’s cheaper and more convenient than purchasing a single ticket each time. Even if you don’t plan on using the metro that often, you can share the tickets with your travelling partner.
- Checking out the Arts et Métiers metro station. It’s pretty cool in my opinion.
Where to stay…
- The closer you are to the “center” the more expensive it is to stay (at least from my experience when I was planning my trip). Don’t worry too much about which district/arrondissement your hotel/hostel is in. It honestly doesn’t matter where it is located as long as it’s walkable to a metro station. There are bakeries everywhere, local farmer’s market, etc. Even though it was far away from the center of Paris, we stayed near the Telegraph metro station and it was fine. Though, I must say that the area around the Belleville metro station was a bit on the iffy side (felt unsafe walking around even during the daytime).
What to eat…
- Eating the “pain au chocolat” (chocolate croissants) at basically any bakery you come across. They are AMAZING.
- Crepes from La Creperie Saint-Honore. It’s got mixed reviews but I thought the crepes were fantastic (heck much better than the stuff they have here in Canada) and the price is decent if you are on a budget. It’s not a big fancy French cafe so don’t expect 5 star service and 5 star decor.
- First of all, I’m not USUALLY a big fan of the food at McDonalds but the McCafe in Europe is ten thousand times better than the McCafe in Canada (or at least in Vancouver). They even have macarons! If you arrive late into the city or if you find yourself low on Euros on some days, go for McDonalds. 1 Euro cheeseburger! 1 Euro coffee! 1 Euro strawberry sundae!